Motiv, the startup, which helped turn the script on wearables by basically cramming a fitness tracker’s value of technology into a ring. This week, San Francisco’s “digital identity” startup Proxy declared that it’s acquiring the company.
The company’s website is littered in buzzwords, but Proxy focuses on digital key cards — primarily providing a way to make use of digital devices like smartphones to access businesses and homes. An odd match for a company that makes train rings, till one looks at what Motiv’s been up to in recent years.
Among the additions to the tiny hardware platform are NFC payments, lost cellphone monitoring, and two-factor system authentication through gait monitoring. Whether or not Proxy ultimately has curiosity in manufacturing and selling a fitness ring, there’s loads of underlying technology here that would be of interest to a digital identity firm.
While the app will continue to be available for download (no word on how long it’ll continue to offer support), the deal marks the end of Motiv’s online sales, while partner retailers will burn by means of the rest of their inventory.
While compelling, the fitness ring hasn’t exactly taken the wearable category by storm prior to now three years, because space continues to be almost exclusively dominated by smartwatches and headphones. For those who still believe in the form factor, Motiv has had some competition lately from companies like Oura, a ring largely built around sleep monitoring.